BRIDGETOWN, Barbados -- With an 8% increase in visitors from
January through May compared with the same period last year, a
three-year renewal of American Express' official card program with
Barbados and the launch of a television ad campaign, the mood among
tourism officials here is buoyant.
In fact, "buoyant" was the precise word used by Noel A. Lynch,
who was appointed minister of tourism and international transport
Barbados has numbers that other island nations can only dream
about, such as seven years of continuous growth in visitor figures
Tourism revenues totaled $1.4 billion for that period, a figure
Lynch and officials at the Barbados Tourism Authority want to
double by 2005.
"We have to use the past to build on the present and enhance and
energize our position for the next three to five years," Lynch
said. "Our tourism policies and strategies are due for an
American Express and Barbados recently renewed their partnership
The partnership, which pools financial and marketing resources,
includes advertising in key feeder markets, direct mail targeted to
American Express members, travel agent communications and
promotional programs in Barbados.
The first such program is the Island of the Month promotion
running this month in which Barbados is the featured
An ad campaign, which will be launched this fall, is centered on
the theme of rediscovery which, as Lynch said, "taps into a
universal desire for a simpler way of living. The challenge is to
capsulize Barbados in a 30-second television commercial."
Barbados is in a period of "dynamic change," and the government
"needs to be more of a facilitator in an economy that is
increasingly private-sector driven," Lynch said.
The BTA plans more thrust in the North American market to drive
U.S. business to the island. South America, too, will get lots of
attention from tourism officials.
The seaport and international airport will be upgraded and
enlarged by 2005; Internet reach will be expanded, and niche
markets, especially golf, honeymoon and meetings, will be promoted
"Barbados could become the golf capital of the eastern
Caribbean," Lynch said. "We offer championship golf at Royal
Westmoreland, Sandy Lane and Rockley courses, and there are plans
for more courses."
More airlift, aggressive sales efforts that target agents and
operators and the presence of a brand hotel with name recognition
and renovations of older properties are among BTA's goals, Lynch
Barbados Tourism Authority
Phone: (800) 221-9831